Whistles Weekend: Five of the best day festivals

Citadel Festival

It is now officially summer and the start of festival season, so we’ve hand chosen and reviewed some of the best day festivals from London, Margate and beyond.

Summer Series at Somerset House 

Summer series is set to return this July with a line up of established and emerging musicians. Set in the eighteenth century courtyard of London’s Somerset House, the annual concert series is known for its carefully considered international and homegrown artists. This year’s highlights include Goldfrapp, Norah Jones and Damian Marley (son of Bob Marley) as well as the emotionally charged electronic-jazz collective The Cinematic Orchestra. With many of the evenings beginning to sell out, Summer Series remains one of London’s must-do festivals. Get your tickets now before it’s too late. 

Summer Series at Somerset House runs from July 6 to July 16. Buy tickets here


A fairly new addition to the festival schedule and boasting headliners from Bonobo, Foals, Wild Beasts and Laura Marling, Citadel has become one of London’s most exciting day festivals. Alongside its long list of activities and experiences, from sporting events and panel discussions to wellbeing and creative workshops, this year Citadel has introduced its very own science camp. Featuring guest speakers, scientists, artists and members of acclaimed institutions (including London’s Science Museum) the festival will be running a series of thought-provoking discussions and a range of workshop throughout the day. 

Citadel Festival is at Victoria Park on July 16. Buy tickets here.

From Ace to Beat

With the hotter weather arriving, the Ace Hotel is celebrating with an all-day party at their Shoreditch hotel. A collaboration with BEAT magazine, attendees to the free-entry party can expect a diverse and exciting line-up. Bluesy three piece band Blueprint Blues are taking over the rooftop, while Jessie Ware is performing in the wood-panelled brasserie. Down in the basement club, rap artist Abra Cadabra, singer-songwriter RAYE and Hannah Diamond will be performing well into the night - so dust off those dancing shoes. 

From Ace to Beat is at The Ace Hotel from 3pm on July 2. RSVP here

Edinburgh International Festival 

If you prefer music with a more cultural edge, the Edinburgh International Festival is worth the train journey. With a considered yet diverse line-up, the festival presents some of the finest performers and ensembles from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre. PJ Harvey is set to return to the festival this year with her full nine-piece band while other highlights include Martin Creed’s Words and Music show and Madrid-based dance company Aracaladanza’s performance of Vuelos, inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci. 

Edinburgh International Festival runs from August 4 to August 28 at various venues. Buy tickets here.

By The Sea 

Considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in the UK, Margate’s Dreamland has meticulously restored its vintage rides and started its own festival, the aptly named By The Sea. With Metronomy, Everything Everything and The Libertines headlining alongside a full supporting act of artists and DJs, Dreamland’s By The Sea festival is set to redefine ‘a day out at the seaside’. 

By The Sea is at Dreamland Margate from September 29 to October 1. Buy tickets here.